In light of the recent and ongoing wildland fires experienced in the Western Cape (See our FB page), i have decided to write a short Blog on this issue.
Landowners and State Entities need to fully understand the impact of invasive alien species on our fauna and flora and seek to find effective methods in eradicating them and thus reducing the fire load. However, it is not only the invasive plant species which pose a threat but also our indigenous species such as fynbos which is very unique in it’s own right.
Fynbos needs fire to germinate it’s seeds and thus to ensure it’s survival. In general terms, fynbos needs to burn on average every 10 to 12 years. Give or take. In my years as a professional wildland fire fighter, i have noticed an ever increasing trend among private landowners over the past 10 years or so. That is that they are too scared to burn as they are worried of the possible legal and financial (insurance claims) for which they fear can be held against them should the fire become out of control. My advice to them would be to always contact your local fire department and liaise with your local or regional fire protection association (FPA) regarding the possible implications and also assistance from these departments. They have experts who can provide you with the best advice on when and how to burn, fire permits, stacking etc…It is also advisable to join your local FPA.
Please go to our FB page and scroll to the following dates regarding preventative tips and emergency contact numbers in the Western Cape. This information was kindly supplied by the following volunteer firefighting services;
- Volunteer Wildfire Services and Enviro Wildfire Services.
- January 3 2017 – Emergency numbers of the District Fire Services in Western Cape.
- December 8 2016 – Preventative tips to help prevent wildland fires.
In the meantime, please do not be careless when lighting fires or discarding your cigarette butt. Until next time……………stay safe!